Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Does Gov. Rick Scott really care what you think?

Could it be a chink in the armor? Could it mean Florida's who-cares-what-you-think governor actually does?

Could it be the man whom dissenters call Lord Voldemort, Lex Luthor or, winning the prize for most descriptive, Gov. Wild-Eye, really, really wants you to like him?, a website sponsored by the Republican Party of Florida about the man running this state as it has never been run before, might make you think so.

Yes, this does seem unlikely. It would save time if we counted up the groups who have not sued him mere months into his first term.

The officially offended thus far include (deep breath) some state workers, teachers, cops, legislators who do not agree, welfare recipients, the ACLU, naive types who buy into that whole open-government thing and those of us who would like voting to remain convenient.

Also known as "them" in some Scott-supporting circles.

On this website is a place for those so inclined to tell newspaper editors around the state what a fine job Gov. Scott is doing. Helpfully, a form letter to the editor is pre-written there, which you would hope is not a sign of the party's faith in a Scott fan's ability to express his own thoughts on the subject.

The letter talks about how Scott has promised to create jobs (though not the ones that would have come with that federal rail money he rejected on our behalf) and how he has been a "businessman and not a politician" (although trying to turn the signing of our state budget into a private party packed with supporters and kicking out anyone who dared disagree sounds pretty political to me).

"Rick is refreshing," it says, and "deserves our unwavering and enthusiastic support."

Now, this is an interesting development when it comes to a self-styled maverick who appears not to sweat bad press or an approval rating that has been among the lowest in the country. It seems a point of pride when he says he does not read the newspapers of the state he governs.

If he did, he might know of a growing list of frustrated Floridians — some currently taking him to court — who are not likely to hit that "send" button.

There are those who do not want government dipping into their paychecks. There are state workers who could be subject to the humiliation of random drug testing, and not because they are reasonably suspected of a thing. There are poor people facing similar drug testing before they get government aid, and hey, who cares about them anyway?

There are those of us who do not buy the line that a new elections law cutting down on early voting and otherwise making it harder to register and vote is about fighting fraud. Instead, there are those of us who believe its true motive to be keeping as many of "them" away from the polls as possible, them being Democrats, students and blue-collar types.

On second thought, nah. This sounds more like a letter-writing campaign for core tea party supporters to boost Scott's PR, and less like a governor starting to hear a chorus of voices protesting his legacy for our state, one of private government, left-out voters and trampled rights.

A governor who really cares what you think?

Now that would have been, to borrow a word, "refreshing."

Does Gov. Rick Scott really care what you think? 06/23/11 [Last modified: Thursday, June 23, 2011 8:20pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Carlton: A moment of sanity when citizens finally said no


    If you were looking for some small sign of sanity in the world, here's one courtesy of the people of Tampa and Hillsborough County.

    The Confederate memorial statue outside the old Hillsborough courthouse is now boxed up in plywood to prevent vandalism. Private donors have ponied up money to have the statue relocated to a cemetery. [JIM DAMASKE  |  Times]
  2. Review: Jason Aldean fires up a country-dude party at Tampa's MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre


    Country music has a dude problem.

    I’m not talking about the proliferation of mindless bro country over the past half-decade, nor am I referring to the fact that most of Nashville’s best music these days comes not from said bros, from female singers and songwriters.

    Jason Aldean performed at the MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre in Tampa on Aug. 18, 2018.
  3. President Trump offers prayers for Kissimmee police


    President Donald Trump reacted to the police shooting in Kissimmee:

  4. Kissimmee police officer dies, one gravely wounded; Jacksonville officers shot


    KISSIMMEE — A Kissimmee police officer died and a second was gravely wounded Friday night, police Chief Jeff O'Dell said.

    Two police officers have been shot and killed in Kissimmee, authorities say. The shooting happened in the area of Palmway and Cypress around 9:30 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 18, 2017. Photo courtesy of